‘The national Family Groups Mass was an amazing and moving event that showed how much the Family Group Movement has blossomed over the past 10 years throughout the UK. It was particularly humbling to hear from participants how the Movement has directly benefited their lives in so many personal ways. It was a truly amazing celebration, and we look forward to the next one.’ (Liz)
On Saturday 6th May 2017 two hundred Family Group members and friends gathered in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady Immaculate & St Thomas of Canterbury, Northampton for the first national Thanksgiving Mass of the Family Group Movement in England and Wales. The Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Peter Doyle, Archbishop Peter Smith, Bishop Tom Williams, Bishop Patrick McKinney, Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Canon David Paul, Father Philip Glanfield, Fr Paul Standish, Canon Mark Floody and Fr Pat Munroe (Family Groups’ Chaplain).
In his homily Bishop Peter Doyle said, ‘Family Groups fulfil the role of accompaniment in just the right way for all of us whether we are single, married, separated or divorced or widowed… and may I encourage you, and my fellow bishops and brother priests, to promote more and more this simple but profound way of drawing us together in communion with the Christ who has died, who is risen, and who will come again.’ The Mass included a candle commissioning for the Family Group parishes, and was followed by a shared buffet lunch. In the afternoon representatives from Family Groups from around the country gave their moving testimonies. Following are reflections from two people who took part in the celebration:
‘What a wonderful warm welcome I received in attending the National Mass for Family Groups – so many nice people greeted me – not strangers but friends linked by a common faith bond. The Mass was beautiful and uplifting – Bishop Peter was so engaging inviting us all to pray together. What an amazing and uplifting experience. I personally felt the Holy Spirit amongst us all.
I was honoured and delighted to be chosen to collect the candle on behalf of our Parish – as the candle was handed to me Bishop Peter said some lovely words and prayed for the spirit to be with me as I brought the candle home to our parish. I will never forget that special moment as I stood at the Altar waiting for our candle to be lit – I felt that I was holding something special and precious in my hands. The coach home was full of joy and happiness. We all chatted, sang songs and swapped seats as we talked excitedly about the day. I do hope we can do this again sometime soon and thank you for a wonderful day and a lovely lunch.’ (Agnes)
‘It was so lovely to meet up with other like-minded people and to share different perspectives of how the Family Group Movement is being interpreted according to each Parish’s needs. We were made to feel SO welcome and a beautiful buffet was provided for us all to share. It would be good to meet up again & meet friends old and new.’ (Carolynne)
Use the link below to see more pictures from the event:
For more information on getting Family Groups started in your parish visit: